taradiddle - another etymological challenge?

A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Sat Aug 21 00:33:21 UTC 1999

OK, from the Merriam-Webster "Word of the Day" site today

taradiddle * \tare-uh-DIH-dle or TARE-uh-dih-dle\ * (noun)
   1 : fib
  *2 : pretentious nonsense

Example sentence:
   Business writer Don Larson didn't mince words when he
   criticized a story as "the worst collection of falsehoods,
   fabrications, misrepresentations, deceptions and just plain
   old-fashioned taradiddle that I have ever read."

Did you know?
    The true origin of "taradiddle" is unknown, but that doesn't
    mean you won't hear a lot of balderdash about its history.
    Some folks try to relate it to the verb "diddle" (meaning "to
    cheat"), but that hasn't been proven and may turn out to be
    poppycock. Then there's some tommyrot claiming it
    comes from the Old English verb "didrian," which meant
    "to deceive," but that couldn't be true unless "didrian" was
    somehow suddenly revived after eight or nine centuries of
    disuse. No one even knows when "taradiddle" was first
    used. It must have been long before it showed up in a 1796
    dictionary of colloquial speech (where it was defined as a
    synonym of "fib"), but if we claimed we knew who said it
    first, we'd be dishing out pure applesauce.

* Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

I have my own theory:  it comes from Scarlett O'Hara.  After all, she used to
say "fiddle-dee-dee" a lot, and her home was "Tara".  Clearly it comes from
"Gone with the Wind".

There.  Maybe I can get my etymology published all over the place!

Andrea Vine
Sun-Netscape Alliance messaging i18n architect
avine at eng.sun.com
I always wanted to be an architect. }sigh{  Of course, I _am_ an architect.

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